which lasted about an hour. One of them seemed
very much impressed, and labored hard to convince
his host that he was a good master and would treat
his men well. Finally one of the party asked
William Wright to produce the men. He replied
that he would not do that, that they might search
his premises if they wished to, but they could not
compel him to bring forth the fugitives. Seeing
that they had been duped, they became very angry and
proceeded forthwith to search the house and all the
outhouses immediately around it, without, however,
finding those whom they sought. As they left the
house and went toward the barn, William Wright, waving
his hand toward the former, said, “You see they
are not anywhere there.” They then went
to the barn and gave it a thorough search. Between
it and the house, a little away from the path, but
in plain sight, stood the carriage-house, which
they passed by without seeming to notice
After they had gone, poor Tom was found in this very
house, curled up under the seats of the old-fashioned
family carriage. He had never come to the house
at all, but had heard the voices of his hunters from
his hiding-place, during their whole search.
About two o’clock in the morning, Fenton was
found by William Wright out in the field. He
had run along the bed of a small water course, dry
at that time of year, until he came to a rye field
amid whose high grain he hid himself until he thought
the danger was past. From William Wright’s
the slave-catchers went to Joel Wierman’s, where,
despite all that could be done, they got poor Sam,
took him off to Maryland and sold him to the traders
to be taken far south.
In 1856 William Wright was a delegate from Adams county
to the Convention at Philadelphia which nominated
John C. Fremont for President of the United States.
As the counties were called in alphabetical order,
he responded first among the Pennsylvania delegation.
It is thought that he helped away during his whole
life, nearly one thousand slaves. During his
latter years, he was aided in the good work by his
children, who never hesitated to sacrifice their own
pleasure in order to help away fugitives.
His convictions on the subject of slavery seem to
have been born with him, to have grown with his growth,
and strengthened with his strength. He could
not remember when he first became interested in the
William Wright closed his long and useful life on
the 25th of October, 1865. More fortunate than
his co-laborer, Daniel Gibbons, he lived to see the
triumph of the cause in which he had labored all his
life. His latter years were cheered by the remembrance
of his good deeds in the cause of human freedom.
Modest and retiring, he would not desire, as he does
not need, a eulogy. His labors speak for themselves,
and are such as are recorded upon the Lamb’s
Book of Life.
Dr. Fussell, whose death occurred within the current
year, was no ordinary man. He was born in Chester
county, Pa., in 1794, his ancestors being members
of the Society of Friends, principally of English origin,
who arrived in America during the early settlement
of Pennsylvania, some being of the number who, with
William Penn, built their homes on the unbroken soil,
where Philadelphia now stands.